When Towson University in Maryland opened its updated classrooms for tours in fall 2011, they generated a lot of interest. Visitors were especially impressed by the technology-integrated classroom furniture. The state-of-the-art equipment proved to students, parents and the community at large why Towson is ranked among the country’s best regional public universities.
What was the technology that turned so many heads? NOVA Solutions’ classroom desks with built-in trolley monitor lifts. This classroom furniture allows computer screens at every desk to be stored out of sight when they aren't needed, freeing up work space and reducing distractions.
Kris Phillips, Towson University’s director of planning, discussed the university's success in a short video, explaining how NOVA’s system has changed the way their classrooms interact.
“These systems give our instructors the ability to manage the classroom in a way they’ve never been able to manage it before. A lot of our courses have a lab component and lecture component. Typically, the lecture component is first and the lab component is second. In our typical computer rooms on campus -- where we don’t have this system -- students are often sending emails or getting on Facebook during the lecture portion, and it’s disturbing class.”
With NOVA Solutions’ classroom furniture, all trolley monitor lifts are incorporated in the NOVALinked network, giving the instructor the ability to operate all the monitors with a single button. This allows him or her to reduce distractions during lectures.
“With this system, through one button, the professor can basically take all the monitors down, and have students focus on the lecture portion,” explains Phillips. “And then when he’s ready for the lab component, hit the button and have the monitors come up.”
Students can also control their monitors independently. The wiring for each desk is stored in an out of the way, locked compartment, and covered with a desk panel.
NOVA Solutions’ classroom furniture is used in various departments, and Towson’s student population of over 2,100 appreciates the state-of-the-art feel.
Phillips sums up: “What the NOVA system has given us is the ability to be much more flexible.”